Buying an eSIM for France can be a little confusing.
Sure, eSIMs are easy to use and save you lots of money, but with so many France eSIM providers to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is the best.
At A Glance: Best eSims in France
I have lived in Europe for over 22 years and traveled the length and breadth of this continent. And after I discovered eSIMs, I never looked back. In my experience, they save you so much time and money, especially when you are visiting many countries.
If you plan on traveling around Europe, then read my guide to European eSIMs. The prices are comparable, but you get to keep the same eSIM and use it wherever you go!
In this guide, I want to help you find the best eSIMs for France so that you can just get on with your trip.
I have used a lot of eSIMs while traveling in Europe and I find that it helpful to breakdown your choice of eSIM like this:
Do you need 1, 3, 5, 10 GB or unlimited data?
Decide how much data you are going to use while in France. (Do you have wifi at the hotel or Airbnb, do you need to work via your phone)
How long will you need mobile data?
Most plans are 5, 7, 10, 15 or 30 days, depending on the provider. Longer plans are often a little more expensive.
You can keep your home phone number, but it might cost a lot to call home. A few eSIM providers have calls, and even fewer have texts.
Consider installing WhatsApp or Signal to text via data instead of SMS, which usually costs money.
Are you going to share your data (with someone else or another device). Be aware that providers like Holafly don’t allow data sharing. Generally, the others do.
5G France Esim
|SEE ON MAYA →|
France eSIM Unlimited Data
|SEE ON Holafly →|
|SEE ON Airalo →|
eSIM with French Number
|SEE ON Orange →|
|SEE ON Orange →|
|SEE ON AIS →|
|SEE ON Nomad →|
Affordable France eSIMS
|SEE ON Ubigi →|
|SEE ON Keepgo →|
|SEE ON Bouygues →|
One of my favorite French eSIM providers is Maya Mobile. I read about them on Reddit. They stand out from the crowd by having a range of plans that include:
Maya’s prepaid eSIMs for France are listed in the table below:
|5 Days||10 Days||15 Days||30 Days|
So, you can mix and match the exact size and length of the eSIM plan you need.
On top of that, Maya Mobile works with the best providers and allows tethering/hotspots.
I have used them in a few countries and have been very impressed with the service. No more worrying about data limits, not having Google Maps, limiting my YouTube consumption and all those modern worries we have :>
Another big bonus they have in the eSIMs for France is access to 5G from one of the best providers in the country – Free Mobile. They also have a second provider Bouyges, as a backup to ensure coverage no matter where you go in such a big country.
Holafly is the eSIM provider to go with if you want to have a plan with unlimited data and hotspot/tethering support.
They are one of the few providers that offer an eSIM for France with unlimited data. And they have unlimited data eSIM for Europe too.
In fact, you can choose an unlimited plan for either France or Europe for the same price. Their unlimited plans are:
If you like to use a lot of data, this is the ideal 5G eSIM for France travel as the connection speeds are excellent. But, you cannot share the data via a hotspot.
Get 5% OFF with your order using EXPERTWORLDTRAVEL discount code.
Holafly now offers their France eSIM with a phone number. They give you 60 minutes of calls with a local phone number.
Airalo is known as one of if not the top eSIM providers in the world. They have been around for a while, and have reliable connections, fast speeds, and very affordable data-only plans for most countries in the world.
My only beef with Airalo in this case (France) is that their prices are not the cheapest per GB (Maya is cheaper) and as usual, they don’t have an unlimited plan.
On the plus side, they have three different mobile providers (Orange, Bouygues, SFR) which ensure a great connection. And they allow hotspots/tethering, which is great if you need to work or use another device.
You can choose the amount of data and length of the contract to match your trip needs, which is handy. The only downside I find is that some of the smaller plans have very small time limits (7 – 15 days).
Airalo’s France eSIM plans include:
The prices are very affordable and it is simple to buy and install their eSims, and their customer service is excellent.
The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM works all over Europe, so you can use it in France and the rest of Europe too.
Since this is an eSIM with a French phone number plus unlimited free mobile calls and sms within Europe, plus some free minutes and SMS for the rest of the world, it is a real winner.
It could even be one of the best eSIMs for Europe too!
Since it is with Orange, a French network, you will get a fast and reliable mobile data connection while you use it. Also, it comes with 20 GB which should be more than enough for 14 days.
Sadly, the price per GB (if you exclude the calls) isn’t the best around.
The Orange Holiday Zen eSIM also works in all of Europe and like the other Orange eSIM we looked at above, it also comes with free mobile calls, free mobile SMS, and data.
You get 8 GB of data, a French phone number, unlimited calls and SMS in Europe, and some free calls and SMS outside of Europe.
This costs $29.90 and lasts for 14 days, which is a little expensive for 8 GB of data that has such a fast expiry date.
But, being with Orange, a French network, you’ll have a reliable and fast mobile data connection when using your eSIM card for France.
The AIS eSIM2Fly is a global eSIM that also works in France and you get a great deal with it too.
For just $33 you will get 6 GB of 5G/4G/LTE connection and unlimited 2G connection for 15 days. You will be able to use it as an eSIM for France, or in 119 other countries around the world.
This also comes with a Thai number if you want to use it for sms and calls, but that is not very useful in France.
Nomad is a prepaid eSIM provider for France eSIM that has some decent prices.
There are a number of different eSIM plans to choose from that are both affordable per GB and you can match to your trip length. Here are their plans in overview:
The connection you get with Nomad France is solid, fast, and reliable because they use (in most cases) Frances’s big providers: Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR, or Free Mobile.
Note: The only thing to watch with Nomad is that their plans are a bit confusing. They have two of every data pack size. And each varies slightly from the other (number of days, mobile provider) and in different ways each time. I have no idea why they do this, I find it very annoying.
Ubigi is quite new in the eSIM provider world and provides a very reliable mobile internet connection with their French eSIMs.
Their price per GB is solid and you can choose from a range of plans with different amounts of data:
You will always find an eSIM plan to match your trip. Buying, installing, and activating your Ubigi eSIM is also super easy.
Keepgo is also a new eSIM provider and they offer a good European eSIM that also includes France.
The only annoying thing is that you have to make an account to see their pricing and there are no data plans that are unlimited.
The best thing about Keepgo is that the data plans do not have a time limit so you can use your data until you finish it.
The connection is quick and reliable, it is very affordable per GB, and the eSIM is super fast to buy, install and activate.
RELATED POST: Check out our detailed review of the Keepgo eSIM
Bouygues Telecom is a local French network provider, so when you buy their eSIMs you will be getting a super reliable and fast connection.
This eSIM provider only has three different eSIMs to choose from and for a good price too. And, they are all European eSIMs that work in all of the West and some of the East too (the Baltics, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary).
These are the plans they have available:
As you can see above, you get texts and calls in the Travel Basic+ package, which might come in handy for some of you.
If you plan on getting a France eSIM then it pays to know which mobile networks are the best.
According to Open Signal, a reliable mobile network testing company, the following mobile providers were the best in France this year:
This means that Orange users have the most consistent experience in France and the fastest overall speeds in general. Free Mobile is doing the best on 5G with the best coverage, as well as with 4G surprisingly.
That does not mean that the other two providers – Bouygues and SFR are necessarily bad, but they did not rate as highly as the other two.
There are a lot of benefits to getting an eSIM in France, especially before you leave home.
The main advantage is that you do not have to buy a local prepaid SIM card in France when you land. There is no need to queue, sign up, or learn the top-up procedure for a new local SIM card. Plus, there is no need to swap sim cards either, so you won’t lose your sim from home.
The great thing with an eSIM I find is that it is ready to roll when you land or cross the border. I have crossed many a border lately and having your data ready to go ASAP is key. ESIMs allow you to do that. So long as you buy before you land, as you need wifi or data access to make the purchase, activate and install it. Then once the eSIM sees the network, you are good to go!
With an eSIM, you can also
The eSIM is just there in most cases for the data connection, like a wifi in a cafe or hotel. But with you all the time!
Using an eSIM in France is usually far more affordable than data roaming on your home network.
So, once you land in France, you will have a data connection so you can navigate, communicate, book tickets, find restaurants, and lots more you might need to make your trip easier. It has saved me a lot traveling through Eastern Europe lately and crossing borders in days while driving home. Give it a shot, it will save you money, time and headaches too.
I used to find it confusing to install an eSIM, but these days, it is really very simple. Also in France.
All you have to do is buy the eSIM for France (either before you go, or somewhere you have wifi) and then head to the Mobile Data/Cellphone Data section of your phone.
Then “Add An ESIM” via a QR code.
Once it is connected to the local network, you get a success notification.
Now, you just have to choose whether you want to keep your phone number (yes, in most cases) and then turn on mobile data on the new plan. I often forget and wonder why I am not seeing the 4G or 5G symbol on my phone. So, if you are also missing that, make sure the eSIM plan has data turned on :>
The only local mobile operators offering eSIMs in France to travelers are Orange France and Bouygues Telecom. Both of these are the best times to go for if you want the fastest and most reliable connection as being a local mobile operator means they will have the best connection.
There are a lot of devices that are compatible with eSIMs in France and the rest of the world. These include recently released smartphones and tablets.
To check if your device is compatible dial *#06# and hit call. It will come up with an eSIM unique identification number (EID) if your phone is eSim compatible.
If you have a relatively new iPhone or Android phone then chances are it will have an eSim. The same goes for a new tablet like an iPad. Any iPhone newer than the iPhone XR is eSim compatible.
5G is being slowly rolled out in France, which means some of the eSIM providers in this review have made it available. The following offer 5G as part of their prepaid eSIMs:
Deployment began in November 2020, and to date, there is now extensive coverage all over the country. You can see in the map from nPerf (updated in early 2023) that 5G is now widespread around France, and clearly more concentrated in larger cities.
How much data you need when traveling to France depends on how much data you use. On average people use about 5 GB per week and heavy data users hit 15-20 GB of data. If you are like Anna and sit on Instagram or YouTube, you will need 2-3 GB a day.
It is important to match your eSim data amount to your data needs as topping up usually involves buying the same contract again, and therefore makes it super expensive. So, if you think you need 5 GB then buy 10 GB as it’s usually not much more. But if you need to top up 5 GB with 5 GB it is around 30-50% more expensive.
Run a report on your smartphone for your average data usage and buy an eSim data plan to match. If you are in doubt, it is always smart to go for an eSim with a data plan that is unlimited.
Yes, eSIMs that are specific to Europe or France work very well in France.
You can buy an eSIM in France by going online and buying one from your chosen eSIM provider. You can actually buy an eSIM for France from anywhere in the world as long as you’re online.
To install and activate your eSIM, simply scan the QR code you received after buying your eSIM. Then follow the instructions for installation, it usually involves saying yes to installing and activating the eSim after you have scanned the QR Code.